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Flower Master Turtleback – Jul 1 2001


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Turtleback, Jul 1 2001

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Product Details

  • Turtleback
  • Publisher: Demco Media (July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606218408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606218405
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)


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"But watch closely, because clouds over the moon may mean storms over blossoms!" Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As always Sujata Massey takes us into the world of life in Japan allowing us to learn about a culture so alien to ours through the eyes of a half japanese woman named Rei Shimura. In this volume Rei is caught up in a murder in the world of ikebana - flower arranging.
The descriptions of life in Japan, the characters, the situations are all beautifully rendered in words and the book is a fantastic read. Except...
I really felt a bit disappointed by the ending. While I don't turn reading a mystery into a contest, I do like to match my wits against the writer - as many readers do. In this book, however, the identity of the murderer comes out of nowhere. There are no clues dropped, no subtle hints about their personality or motives, nothing that could make the reader even subconciously place this person in the list of suspects. And in the end the motive that is given to the killer is singularly confusing and contradictory. The killer torments one woman for years because of a perceived slight against an august family, yet turns around and steals from that same family in order to raise money. Why they want the money is never disclosed, and why they would steal from people they appear to honor and hold in high esteem is confusing.
I would have liked a crisper and better defined ending, though I did enjoy the book :)
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By Wendy Kaplan on June 17 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I keep trying to find an adjective that appropriately describes Sujata Massey's piquant and wonderful Rei Shimura series. With this third, and best, addition to the series, I think I have found one, although it hardly describes the talent of the writer: delicate.
Exquisite delicacy, akin to the ikebana arrangements described in this book, is the hallmark of Massey's wonderful mysteries. Imagine murder, mayhem, forensics, and all the rest of the usual crime-novel/mystery genre told in a setting of kimono, cherry blossoms, the aforementioned ikebana and the constant east-west conflict of the heroine, and you have a slight idea of just how different these books are--and just how delightful.
This story finds half Japanese-half American Rei Shimura thriving as an antiques dealer, despite the end of her tumultuous relationship with Scotsman Hugh Glendinning. Dragged to her aunt's ikebana school for lessons (as part of her aunt's ongoing project--making Rei comfortable with her Japanese side), Rei soon stumbles on a murder. And not just any murder. This is as bloody as any samurai killing--but in place of the sword, the fatal weapon is a pair of ikebana scissors. Who among the genteel, proper women at the school could have committed such an atrocity? And most of all, why?
As Rei sets out to solve the mystery, she is threatened by all sorts of hostile influences, from a radical pro-environmentalist organization to a sinister and unseen writer of threatening haiku--to her own treacherous heart, as she finds herself drawn to the handsome son of the school's chairman.
It all makes for a fascinating and utterly wonderful mystery. This is a series not to be missed!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this, the third book in the Rei Shimura series that began with THE SALARYMAN'S WIFE, we attend ikebana (flower arranging) classes with Rei and her aunt and meet a lot of interesting characters. We learn a little (not enough) about ikebana, and a little (not enough) about the murder and its surrounding mystery. In fact, there were a couple of obvious points that were not followed up or explained. I enjoyed THE FLOWER MASTER, but I kept feeling that there was something left out -- not enough detail, action, whatever. I loved the first two. Maybe it's just me. Try it for yourself. It doesn't discourage me from wanting to read the next one, though. I love whatever view of the culture Massey gives us, along with her fine ability to create a sense of place.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Sujata Massey's books, and enjoyed each one. She really knows how to tell a story. Her character of Rei Shimura is appealing because she is intelligent and normal. The fact that Ms. Massey's books are set in Japan was the reason I first bought one, but the story convinced me to buy the others. You should, too!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Rei Shimura story I have read; "Zen Attitude" was the introduction to this very fine series. But the "Flower Master" is even better as our author's craft is honed with experience. In a flower-arranging class to please her Auntie, Rei is soon in a lot more than petals! An unpleasant teacher is found dead and there are suspects aplenty, twists, and surprises. But it is the characters, drawn deftly and shrewdly that make this one superior to the earlier work; the son of the owner, splendidly indulged, is a good example. He is difficult to like (one supports Rei's feeling on this one) and yet...And that sister!
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Format: Hardcover
The FLOWER MASTER is the very best so far in Sujata Massey's series featuring Rei Shimura. Rei has recently broken up with her boyfriend, so she's under the watchful eye of her Auntie Norie. Norie drags Rei to an ikebana (flower-arranging) class to give her some diversion from her failed romance, and to help mold her into a 'proper' young Japanese girl suitable for marrying. The ikebana school's director is found stabbed in the neck with a pair of ikebana scissors. (gruesome, but quite humourous touch here)
Thus, Rei is drawn into all the politics and maneuverings surrounding the next-likely successor to run the family-owned school. There's plenty of murder and intrigue afoot, and Rei has another potential boyfriend. He happens to be a son of the family running the school, and he's an enviromentalist as well. Prestige and power await the next director, if he/she lives long enough to accept the job. Rei finds out there's more to the world of ikebana than scissors and beautiful flowers.
Ms. Massey does a superb job of educating the reader on the intricacies of the art of ikebana, while spinning a great mystery. She's definitely developing a sure hand with her characters and the plotlines. Many congratulations on a job well done!
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